Stay Connected Despite Social Distancing

Miss seeing your friends and loved ones in person? That’s because people crave human connection as a fundamental need.

“Everyone feels lonely or isolated occasionally, but a pandemic and the resulting forced isolation can intensify those feelings for many of us,” said Amber Olson, LCSW, with Memorial Behavioral Health. “A heightened feeling of isolation can lead to depression, poor sleep quality, impaired thinking, poor cardiovascular functioning and impaired immunity, regardless of the age of the individual. Be mindful of your loved ones or neighbors who could benefit from a chat on the phone or a visit from across the yard. Be sure to meet your own social needs in a safe and fun way.”

Consider these options for connecting with others during this time of social distancing:

  • Make a virtual connection. Use Zoom or other apps to open a video call with family or friends. Enter a virtual conversation space that allows you to see and talk with several people at once. Send emails or group texts. Engage in online support groups or stay in touch with your social media interest groups.
  • Remember old-fashioned telephone calls? Surprise an old friend by calling them and catching up. Hearing someone’s voice can provide grounding and encouragement.
  • Start a blog or create a digital photo journal to let others know what you have been doing.
  • Monitor your health and stay on top of any potential issues by talking with your physician in a virtual conversation. Memorial offers the MemorialNow app for just that purpose.
  • Get help if you are struggling with social isolation. Memorial Behavioral Health offers an emotional support hotline. Also available for those experiencing emotional distress is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.